‘Animal’ Producer Plimsoll Productions Promotes Execs Jonathan Jackson, Lucy Bilson to Top Roles (EXCLUSIVE)
Plimsoll Productions, the prominent company specialized in wildlife and natural history programming now owned by ITV Studios, is bolstering its top management ranks.
The announcement follows the recent acquisition of Plimsoll by U.K. broadcaster ITV in a deal that valued the company at £130 million ($160 million).
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The prolific U.K. outfit – which is coming off its busiest year ever with 20 shows in production, including National Geographic series “The Ascent” with Alex Honnold – has promoted Jonathan Jackson, its former chief financial officer, to the role of COO, alongside his CFO role, while production executive Lucy Bilson has been elevated to head of production.
Jackson joined Plimsoll four years ago after serving as group managing director at U.K. distributor DRG (now rebranded as NENT Studios), where he boosted growth. He has also held senior financial roles at BBC Studios and Channel 4. Jackson, who will continue to report directly to Plimsoll CEO and founder Grant Mansfield, will now oversee the company’s finance, commercial, post-production and legal aspects while sitting alongside Mansfield on the Plimsoll/ITV Board.
Bilson started out at Plimsoll as production manager overseeing the “Camp Zambia” joint venture between Blue Ant Media and the Smithsonian Channel that delivered 50 hours of the wildlife series set in the South Luangwa National Park that was filmed in less than two years, according to a Plimsoll statement.
Bilson was soon promoted to production executive at Plimsoll where she has been operating across the company’s multifaceted portfolio, including shepherding the series “Animal” for Netflix (pictured) and “Yellowstone Live!” for National Geographic.
In her new position, Bilson will supervise Plimsoll’s output and negotiate deals with a wide range of networks and streamers, including Disney+, National Geographic, Apple TV+ and Discovery.
“Jonathan and Lucy have truly earned their promotions after both making outstanding contributions to Plimsoll’s success story over many years,” Mansfield said in the statement. “They combine acute commercial instincts with the ability to work collaboratively and supportively with our brilliant creatives,” he added.
Plimsoll’s recent output comprises the James Cameron-executive produced and Benedict Cumberbatch-narrated show “Super/Natural” for NatGeo/Disney+ and “A Year on Planet Earth” for Fox/ITV.
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